Janet Marshall is the editor of The Free Lance-Star's Healthy Living section and Healthy Life Virginia newsletter. She thinks most things are fine in moderation.
Subscribe to the Healthy Life Virginia newsletter: fredericksburg.com/gethealthy
Sometimes, my family eats fast food. There, I said it. I’m the Healthy Living editor. I spend my days reading about all things health-related. I know fast food is terrible.
My husband and I have five (mostly part-time) jobs between us, plus the biggest one of all: child-rearing. Sometimes, cooking dinner is just a struggle. And if there’s one thing our kids agree on, it’s that Taco Bell makes the best bean burritos.
So this summer, almost once a week, we’ve hit the drive-thru on US 1.
There’s a lot of fiber in those bean burritos—11 grams, to be exact. And we often eat them at our community pool, where we spend many evenings. So we’re balancing out the junk, right?
Probably not. Turns out the bean burritos have disgusting amounts of sodium (1,270 millograms!), fat calories (90 grams) and carbs (55 grams), according to Taco Bell’s website.
I’m an all-things-in moderation kind of person, and we generally eat well. But 1,270 mgs of sodium?
If you make healthy food choices 80 percent of the time, you shouldn’t sweat the other 20 percent. I’ve read that often. So I won’t sweat using Taco Bell as our family kitchen from time to time—as long as we keep balancing it out with fresh veggies, fruits and healthy fats.
But here’s what I’d love: To hear your suggestions for the witching hour, when everyone’s hungry, no one wants the same thing, and you’re feeling uninspired in the kitchen. Post your suggestions here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll share what I learn.
Meantime, if you have a nasty little habit like ours, read the nutritional information on restaurant websites. What you read may change how you order—if you order at all.